Defensive tackle B.J. Raji was supposed to be on his way out of town via free agency. Now it looks like that won’t happen. Adam Schefter is reporting the Green Bay Packers and Raji are close to striking a one-year deal that will keep Raji around for 2014.
Packers and B.J. Raji are close to completing a 1-year deal that will keep the DT in Green Bay and off the free-agent market, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 6, 2014
The offer is reportedly for $4 million, which seems logical for both parties.
After turning down an $8 million per year extension during the season, Raji probably figured out pretty quickly he wouldn’t be in demand on the free agent market. That’s what happens when a guy plays terribly in his contract year, which is exactly what Raji did in 2013.
He registered just 17 tackles and had no sacks for the second straight season. The best thing you can say about the former first-round pick is he’s a wide body.
By signing a one-year deal, Raji can go out and try to prove himself, become a free agent next year and, in his mind, get the money he’s seeking.
For the Packers, there’s minimal risk involved with a one-year contract. If Raji suddenly plays great, that’s super. If he lays another turd of a season, then he’ll be welcome to leave next year.
Re-signing Raji also helps clear up the defensive line picture. The Packers have four free agent defensive linemen, including nose tackle Ryan Pickett. That leaves Josh Boyd as the only potential nose tackle currently under contract.
Raji played defensive end in 2013, but his natural position is in the middle. Re-signing him means the Packers will have the middle of their defensive line taken care of for the 2014 season.